It seems helpful to investigate stories before and after Ground awakening.
The benefits are perhaps most obvious before awakening, when we believe stories, take them as true. In this case, investigating beliefs invites in a healing and maturing of our human self, and also releases identification out of them so it is easier for what we are to notice itself.
But the benefits are there also after (stable) awakening, when we already see stories as just mental field creations. As tools of practical value only, an aid for our human self to function in the world, and as pointers for what we are to notice itself.
If we don’t continue to investigate stories here, we tend to stick with the ones we already know the practical value of and dismiss the rest. We have a quite limited repertoire of stories we recognize as having practical value. (This is maybe most easily noticed in teachers who come out of a particular tradition, and have a hard time recognizing/acknowledging the value in how other traditions and teachers do it. Or teachers/awakened ones who come from a specific culture, and have trouble appreciate the norms and customs of other cultures.)
And if we continue to investigate stories, we can find the practical value in each of them and our repertoire expands. There is a sense of universal appreciation of stories, independent of their content. And also a lightly-held sense of when and how – in daily life and practice – each of them may be helpful. (I see this most easily in Byron Katie and Adyashanti, and also – growing into it through the Big Mind process – Genpo Roshi.)
[following Ground awakening]
If stories are not investigated here, we tend to stick with a relatively limited set of tools. We tend to stay with the tools already familiar with us, the tools offered to us by culture, tradition and limited personal experience, and there is still a form of limitation here. For instance, we may see a certain story as having practical value, but haven’t quite seen the practical value of their reversals.
If stories are investigated in a thorough way, we will find the practical value in each of them, including the reversals of the stories familiar to us. We expand our repertoire. There is more sense of breadth. We have a larger toolbox.
When I look at teachers where there is a Ground awakening, I can see a difference here.
Some are not in the habit of investigating stories, it may not have been a big part of their own practice before awakening, so there is often a sense of a quite limited set of stories that they see practical value in and use. Even if they see stories as just stories, and tools only, their view is still quite divided in terms of which stories they see as having practical value and not. (I won’t mention names of teachers here…! It is pretty easy to notice though.)
Others are used to investigating stories and have a large toolbox of stories they see practical value in and apply in different situations, as it seems appropriate. Maybe the most clear examples here are Byron Katie and Adyashanti, and also – growing into it through the Big Mind process – Genpo Roshi.
So even after awakening, it can be helpful to (continue to) investigating stories. Now, not to release identification out of it since they are already seen as just stories and tools of practical value. But to expand our repertorie of the stories we have found practical value in. To widen and find more breadth in our story/tool repertoire.
How does it look? Well, there is even more of a deepening into relaxation. An ability to find the genuine truth in any story and statement. An interest in finding the truth in reversals of any story, including the ones we are very familiar with. A sense of not having to defend any story, role, identity or strategy, apart from as having limited practical value in a certain situation.